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Zadar (zäˈdär), Ital. Zara, city (2011 pop. 75,062), W Croatia, on the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic Sea. A seaport and a tourist center, it has industries that produce liqueur, processed fish, textiles, and cigarettes. It is the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishop and has a branch of the Univ. of Zagreb. Founded by the Illyrians in the 4th cent. B.C., Zadar became a Roman colony in the 2d cent. B.C. It passed to the Byzantine Empire in 553 and was settled by the South Slavs in the 7th cent. Although disputed by Venice, Hungary, and Croatia, it remained under Byzantine protection until 1001, when Emperor Alexius I transferred it to Venice. At the end of the 11th cent. it was seized by Hungary, but the leaders of the Fourth Crusade, persuaded by the doge Enrico Dandolo, reconquered it for Venice in 1202. After a five-day siege the Crusaders sacked the city, an act for which they were condemned by Pope Innocent III. Hungary continued to dispute Zadar with Venice, which obtained permanent possession of the city only in 1409. The Treaty of Campo Formio (1797) gave it to Austria, where, from 1815 to 1918, it was the capital of the crownland of Dalmatia. Zadar passed to Italy by the Treaty of Saint-Germain (1919), was occupied (1945) by Yugoslav forces at the end of World War II, and was formally ceded to Yugoslavia by the Italian peace treaty of 1947 as part of the constitutent republic of Croatia. The city has several Roman monuments and medieval churches and palaces.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in Yugoslavia, in the Socialist Republic of Croatia, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Population, 43,200 (1971). It is a transportation junction, with a railroad station, a port, and an airport, and is the center of a region of viticulture and olive planting. Industry includes tobacco, jute, oil extraction, wines and spirits (including the production of maraschino liqueur), fish canning, and machine building. Zadar is a tourism center. The National Museum, Archaeo-logical Museum, and Naval Museum, as well as the department of philosophy of the University of Zagreb, are located in Zadar. Zadar is one of the oldest European cities.

Zadar became known as a settlement in the fourth century. During the Middle Ages it was a major commercial city and the center of Dalmatia. It was captured by Venice in 1409 and by Austria in 1797. In 1918, after the collapse of the Hapsburg monarchy, it was occupied by Italian troops. Zadar was declared a free city under Italy’s sovereignty by the Treaty of Rapallo (1920) between Italy and Yugoslavia. The Treaty of Paris (1947) with Italy transferred Zadar to Yugoslavia.

Fragments of Roman triumphal arches, a forum, and an aqueduct have been preserved in Zadar. Other architectural monuments include the rotunda Church of St. Donat (now the Archaeological Museum; 810-15), the Romanesque basilicas of St. Krševan (12th century) and St. Stošije (12th and 13th centuries, with fragments of the altar by V. Carpaccio, c. 1480), the churches of St. Mary (llth century, with a Renaissance facade built in the 16th century) and St. Simeon (12th century; rebuilt in the baroque style in the 17th century); the Porta di Terraferma, a Renaissance fortress gate (architect M. Sanmicheli, 1543), and houses in the Venetian Gothic and Renaissance styles.


Zbornik Zadar. Zagreb, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.